Sunday, March 2, 2008

Soldiers Sleep in Peace and Angels Sing Amazing Grace

Dear Dad,

It's been 5 years today. 5 years since we last spoke on the phone, you eating peanuts and laughing with mom and your friends before you headed out to dinner. Our last good-bye, and the last "I love you Acey-cakes" I would hear spoken from your lips to my ears. Thank you for calling me, a gift I will treasure. How could I have known that a few hours later Tom and I would be driving through the night to Groton to meet mom at a Connecticut hospital. Dry-heaving and throwing up along the way, both of us in shock at how could this be happening to us. You were supposed to come home that coming Friday we were going to eat Harvest pizza and you were going to meet John. This John who I had been speaking about with such joy that I'm sure you heard me smiling through the phone converstations we had while you were in Rotten Groton and I was in Saratoga. We've been blessed these past years. William was born that January, but you knew that, you called me from Groton to tell me the news. He's a funny, handsome little guy who wants everything Jacob has and dares to be told otherwise. He's built like Tom, a tough little fighter who hates to be told no and who Kristie's father thinks will one day be a Marine. Jacob is tall and lean and gentle, he has your spirit and remembers you with eyes that sparkle and a smile so big it makes his eyes squint. He says when he grows up he's going to be a Seabee. Of course I got married to that John guy and this past June we had a little one of our own, Luke Thomas. I have to believe you were there as I looked outside our room and the American flag, one so huge and proud was slapping the hospital window.
We're all doing well but your presence, or the lack there of is the white elephant around every holiday table and birthday celebration that we have. I see you in Tom, so much of you and while years ago he would probably balk at that, I think today he might be alittle proud of that fact. It's funny that in all the pictures we have of you two, you're proudly wearing some Seabee t-shirt and he's sporting a fireman one, and when he's on tv 8 at those town board meetings talking in his serious voice, he sounds like you. I wish you could watch and see. We see mom struggle, it's hard and I can only imagine harder for her to go on without you, without a mate. It's odd how our roles shifted so quickly, me the lonely girl tagging along with her parents to now mom sitting alone in the backseat with me and John. I hate it. But through it all I know you are here, you are proud and I know you must miss us. I hope you feel us as we feel you.I know you didn't die "at war", but you were away from us (but mom was there with you, thank God!)and on active duty when you did and when I hear this song I lose it. We did lay you down, in a field on the edge of town, at the Saratoga Battlefield and 100 Navy Chiefs lined Warren Street as we approached St. Mary's in the most magnificent salute I've every seen. So this is for you. I know you are singing Amazing Grace today. We love you and we'll see you in pictures and dreams.
If you’re reading this
My momma is sitting there
Looks like I only got a one way ticket over here
I sure wish I could give you one more kiss
War was just a game we played when we were kids
Well I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
I’m up here with God
And we’re both watching over you

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go.
If you’re reading this I’m already home.

If you’re reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there to see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
And stands up for the innocent and the weak
I’m laying down my gun
Hanging up my boots
Tell dad I don’t regret that i followed in his shoes

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go
If you’re reading this, I’m already home

If you’re reading this, there is going to come a day
You move on and find someone else and that’s okay
Just remember this
I’m in a better place
Where soldiers live in peace and angels sing amazing grace

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go
If you’re reading this
If you’re reading this
I'm already home